Much ado was made by many in the lacrosse world concerning the return of Casey Powell to Major League Lacrosse last night, and for good reason. The 37 year old superstar has been a force in pro lacrosse (both indoor and outdoor) for years, and Casey showed no signs of slowing down in his 2013 MLL debut, and return to the league, after a brief retirement.
No one really wanted to believe that Powell had retired, and now that he’s back, we can all breathe a sigh of relief.
Early in the game, Chesapeake struggled to score. Powell seemed to fit in well though, and you could tell something was building. When Powell‘s behind the back laser of a pass to Ben Rubeor was almost completed for a Top Ten worthy goal, it was clear there would be little to no adjustment time. Powell was still Powell, and he was heating up.
Early in the second quarter, Powell struck for the Bayhawks’ first goal. He was being covered by Jon Hayes, and took the shortie left, and rolled back to his right, generating a great look on cage. Casey covered by a shortie? It’s danger time. Being so accustomed to physical play from years of box, Powell had no problem scoring, even as Hayes drove him off his feet and into the ground. Powell jogged off smiling. He can still score, and he can still take it. Shocker!
The Bayhawks scored two more unassisted goals before halftime, while Boston notched six total markers, and the Cannons led 6-3 at the intermission. Another unassisted Chesapeake goal brought the count to 6-4 early in the third, and then the Powell – Grant machine began to pay instant dividends.
A nifty two man game at X between the two legends saw Grant pass the ball in to a slipping Powell, who finished five hole from a low angle. It was like these guys had been playing box lacrosse together or something. Wait, these two did play together last year for the Colorado Mammoth of the NLL? Oh, that does explain that play a bit more. Watch out for more of that this year, everyone.
The Bayhawks tied it up at six, and then Matt Abbot scored a nice dodging goal, which had been set up by a… Casey Powell dodge and dump. He didn’t get the assist, but he helped create the play. Another Bayhawks goal from Rubeor and Chesapeake is up 8-6, but of course, Boston answered back, tying the game at 8. Boston would be up 9-8 heading into the fourth, when a seemingly last second Bayhawks goal was waived off after a review.
Boston and Chesapeake traded goals, and then that aforementioned Powell to Rubeor feed materialized again, except this time it resulted in a goal. Game tied at ten, Powell looking as comfortable as ever in the league. It was an unreal assist.
Boston then went back up by two goals, 12-10, before Chesapeake answered with a goal to make it 12-11. It was looking like Boston would eke out a defensive win for much of the remaining two minutes in the game, but once again Casey Powell struck, and with five seconds left he put an unassisted marker in the back of the net, to tie the game at 12, and force overtime, where the Bayhawks converted an extra man chance for the win.
Powell was named game MVP, had three goals and an assist, and notched his 400th point in the MLL (along with his 401st, 402nd, and 403rd). He fit in with Chesapeake seamlessly, and was an impact player from the beginning. It’s great to see him back if you’re a Bayhawks fan, or just a fan of the game. If you’re a fan of any other MLL franchise? Maybe not so much.
Good luck to the rest of the MLL. We may have a new favorite.